Endeavor Cinema Group presented a red-carpet event at Four Day Weekend Theater in Downtown Fort Worth on Oct. 26 to celebrate the release of the first season of Ghostbreakers, a faux reality series spoofing paranormal investigation. The series is currently “on demand” for downloading and streaming via ghostbreakerstv.com.
The first 18 episodes, shot on location in Shreveport, La., starred Joey Greco, who rose to international acclaim as the hardboiled host of Cheaters, the reality TV megahit about busting adulterers.
Ghostbreakers was created, written and directed by Fort Worth native Gabriel Horn and Benjamin Wilbanks; executive produced by Jennifer Floyd and Hank Cohen of Trifecta Entertainment; and represented for international sales by Chris Philip of Sierra-Engine Television.
Answering calls from desperate individuals in conflict with supernatural forces, the ghostbreakers’ overly confident commander, played by Greco, leads his team of bold but hapless spook-chasers—including a lovelorn gadget master (Gabriel Horn), a prima donna clairvoyant (Shanda Lee Munson), and a fainthearted muscle man (Bryan Massey)—face-first into a dangerous fray of the unknown. Attempting to placate, evict or exterminate mischievous spirits, they generally end up causing more harm than good for their often dissatisfied clients.
Clients are played by talent from Louisiana and North Texas, including local stalwarts Rebekah Kennedy, Denise Lee, Horn and Floyd’s daughter Sidney Floyd, and veteran North Texas filmmaker Frank Mosley, who shines as the impresario of a haunted hip-hop club in Episode 10, Phat Man and Lil Boy.
“Having spent considerable time as a reality show host, it was refreshing to work on a project that made light of a genre,” Greco says. “For parody to work, you need an over-saturated format like paranormal investigation. Its tricks and clichés are familiar to everyone and ripe for comedic deconstruction.”
“It’s a great show,” says Mosely. “I count it among one of my favorite times on a set.”
Horn and Wilbanks began making films together 20 years ago in Cleburne. During a stint on “The Promise,” the outdoor Christian spectacle in Glen Rose, they met Ron Gonzalez, who would serve as director of photography on most of their future work, including their first feature Nightcrawlers in 2008. The horror comedy, written and directed by Wilbanks, co-starred Horn as a slacker running for sheriff of Glen Rose and Greco as a vampiric stranger bringing evil to a small Texas town.
Fort Worth filmmaker Tom Huckabee was so impressed by Nightcrawlers that he hired most of the cast and crew to help make his semi-autobiographical dramedy, Carried Away. Huckabee, who served as a story editor on Ghostbreakers describes the series as “Ghosthunters meets Mel Brooks, in the style of Reno 911.”
It was Huckabee who introduced Horn and Wilbanks to Stephen Bailey and Gina Nissen from Fort Worth, who put up most of the money to produce Ghostbreakers.
Says Wilbanks: “It’s the exact show we wanted to make. It follows that we self-distribute, delivering our spooks directly to the people.”
Fort Worth author and critic Michael H. Price (Forgotten Horrors) calls the series: “Splendid stuff . . . recommend without reservation.”